Tuesday 24 October 2017

Lenihan: AIB had ‘substantial’ Polish unit bids

AIB received 'substantial' bids for its Polish unit. Photo: Bloomberg News
AIB received 'substantial' bids for its Polish unit. Photo: Bloomberg News

Allied Irish Banks received a number of "substantial" bids for its Polish unit, Bank Zachodni, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said in an interview with RTE Radio today.

Lenihan said the bids have now closed for control of the Polish bank, in which AIB has a 70pc stake, and that he expects “finality” on the capital needs of Ireland’s second-largest bank “in the next few weeks.”

AIB is seeking to sell its entire stake in Bank Zachodni as part of a series of measures aimed at raising €7.4bn by year-end to reach new regulatory capital targets.

Poland’s PKO Bank Polski, Spain’s Banco Santander and France’s BNP Paribas bid for the Polish unit, a person briefed on the situation said on August 23.

Goodbody Stockbrokers currently estimates that AIB will raise €1.95bn from the sale of the Bank Zachodni stake.

“We estimate that Allied will raise a total of €4.4bn from foreign asset sales,” said Ken Darmody, an analyst with Goodbody, which has an “add” rating on the stock.

AIB also put its UK division and its 22.5pc stake in US lender M&T Bank up for sale at the end of March.

AIB managing director Colm Doherty said on August 4 that the bank expects to complete the disposals process of the three foreign assets by the end of September.

He said he expects to sell shares in the market and to the Government in the fourth quarter.


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